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WFP Scales Up Emergency Response To Flood Victims In The Balkans

WFP/Pietro Sannipoli

BELGRADE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today sent a second batch of emergency relief items to Serbia where severe floods have affected some 600,000 people, following the heaviest rains the Balkans have witnessed in 120 years.

The shipment includes water tanks, generators and inflatable boats provided by WFP and the Norwegian Government. These items were sent on a WFP-chartered aircraft from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi, Italy, where a strategic stockpile of relief items are prepositioned for immediate response.

Today's airlift follows a first charter flight that arrived in Belgrade on Sunday night, carrying emergency equipment from WFP and the Italian and Norwegian Governments.
 
A further flight is scheduled today to Tuzla, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with tents and water containers and purification equipment from the Norwegian Government.

At the request of the Red Cross, WFP is also preparing to dispatch from the UNHRD in Dubai High-Energy Biscuits and ready-to-eat food to help 7,000 flood-affected people in Serbia.

WFP responded to the emergency within less than 36 hours sending non-food relief items; the first UN assistance to arrive in the country following widespread flooding and landslides.

WFP is launching a US$ 1.5 million operation to respond to immediate humanitarian needs upon a request from the Government of Serbia and in coordination with the authorities there and other UN organizations on the ground.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, where floods have exceeded emergency levels in the north, WFP is planning to send life-saving food assistance to 150,000 of the most vulnerable flood-affected people.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20 1066634352. Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob.  +1 646 8241112